APRIL 11-12 | 27 NISAN, 5778


The full name of the day commemorating the victims of the Holocaust is “Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah“—literally the “Day of (Remembrance of) the Holocaust and the Heroism.” 

Explore ways your chapter can commemorate and remember through connecting, learning, and taking action.  

APRIL 17-18 | 3 Iyar, 5778


Yom Hazikaron is a day of remembrance for all those who lost their lives in the struggles that established the State of Israel and for all the military personnel who have lost their lives while serving in the Israeli Army.   
Learn more about how Israel remembers and honors those you gave the ultimate sacrifice for the creation and ongoing existence of the State of Israel. 

APRIL 18-19 | 4 Iyar, 5778


Yom Ha’Atzmaut, (day of independence) celebrates the formal establishment of the State of Israel when members of the “provisional government” read and signed a Declaration of Independence in Tel Aviv.  
Celebrate Israel at 70 throughout the year, to connect, learn, take action, and celebrate. Use this content to elevate existing programs, meetings and conventions.

YOM HASHOAH | יום‭ ‬השואה

APRIL 11-12 | 27 NISAN, 5778



At sunset on April 11, 2018, people all over the world will begin to observe a day of Holocaust remembrance known as Yom HaShoah. This day is not observed like Shabbat or the High Holidays where we are supposed to refrain from work to fully immerse ourselves in celebration of the holiday; rather, it is a day filled with both solemnity and hope, where we remember those who perished in the horrific events of the Holocaust, while also honoring the continued strength and growth of the Jewish people. With the recent wave of anti-Semitism experienced around the world, we are part of a critical moment in history in which we can bring our communities together to demonstrate our heritage of strength.

The first of four Israeli national holidays, Yom HaShoah, traditionally commemorates the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. This is an opportunity to remember those who perished in the Holocaust and their stories of triumph, sadness, and valor. In Israel, flags are flown at half-mast, no public entertainment, concerts, or major sporting events take place, and many public venues are closed. On April 12, 2018 at 10 AM, Israelis observe a two-minute moment of silence. When the sirens sound, all Israelis pause—drivers pull over and get out of their cars, conversations stop, and a nation remembers together.


WATCH the movie To Know is to Remember on YouTube. This movie was created by BBYO Bulgaria in 2006 and tells the fascinating and little-known story of the Holocaust in Bulgaria.

LIGHT a memorial candle. Honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust with people around the world through a global, digital candle lighting ritual. Register below to join a global community of remembrance.

FOLLOW the March of the Living (MOTL). The March of the Living takes place every April to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day and Israel Independence Day. Delegates hail from as many as 45 countries, and between 10,000 and 20,000 participants attend annually. March of the Living International will be live streaming major events throughout the trip. Follow along below!

WRITE a letter. Genocide hits close to home for the Jewish people and sadly is still an issue we need to think about today. With your chapter, learn more about present-day acts of genocide, and commit together to make genocide awareness a priority. Learn and act together by writing letters to your local State representatives urging them to mandate genocide education in schools. We are the ones who will shape the future. Let's Stand UP and let our voices be heard!

RECITE the Mourner’s Kaddish for Yom HaShoah. This version was created especially for Yom HaShoah and links the names of concentration camps into the prayer. As we do not know the names or stories of everyone lost, we include the names of the concentration camps as one way to honor the legacy of those names we cannot call and for those who have no one left to remember them.



In March 2018, BBYO Connecticut Valley Region members walked into the State Capital in support of Bill 452, mandating Holocaust and Genocide Education in Connecticut schools. Kol hakavod to Sam Louis, Samantha Hass, Emily Weissman, Morgan Held, and Jonathan Schachter, who read their testimonies to a packed hearing, sharing their thoughts and pleading with the Connecticut Education Committee to pass the bill requiring this crucial education. After leaving the hearing, Michael Bloom, Executive Director of JFACT, shared this message: “Please tell the teens that two of the Representatives had questions about this bill prior to today. The student’s testimony moved the needle and they are now yeses. So, when people say, ‘Can you make a difference?’ They can and did.”

YOM HAZIKARON | יום‭ ‬הזכרון

APRIL 17-18 | 3 Iyar, 5778


Yom Hazikaron is a day of remembrance for both all those who lost their lives in the struggles that established the State of Israel and for all the military personnel who have lost their lives while serving in the Israeli Army.

For Yom Hazikaron In Israel, flags are flown at half-mast and there is no public entertainment, concerts or major sporting events. Two sirens are sounded. The first siren marks the beginning of Yom Hazikaron at sundown and the second is sounded immediately prior to the recitation of prayers in military cemeteries the next day. In the evening a national ceremony is held at the military cemetery on Mt. Herzl, where many of Israel's leaders and soldiers are buried.

Outside of Israel, Yom Hazikaron is often commemorated as part of Israel Independence Day, Yom Ha’atzmaut. Joining these two days together reminds us that the independence and existence of the Jewish state is directly linked to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it.

The transition from Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha’atzmaut in Israel is a powerful moment. Within seconds the country goes from mourning to celebration! Recreate that moment by beginning the program with a discussion around themes related to Yom Hazikaron and then transition with a moment of silence to a festive celebration. Honor those that have fallen for Israel by lighting a candle and pausing for a moment of silence. 


The album Shir V’Zikaron (Song and Memory) is an annual compilation released ahead of Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Day of Remembrance.  In collaboration with Yediot Aharonot, some of Israel’s best artists memorialize loved ones who have fallen through new songs and fresh performances of classic songs.  Broadcast through various media networks, Shir V’Zikaron unites Israelis around the sounds and stories of those who have been lost. 


This poem was written in response to Chaim Weizmann, the first President of Israel, who said:

"A state is not handed to people on a silver platter."

Use this poem to guide a discussion at a program, meeting, service, or convention. 

YOM HA’ATZMAUT | יום‭ ‬העצמאות

APRIL 18-19 | 4 Iyar, 5778



Yom Ha’atzmaut in Israel is always preceded by Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for the fallen soldiers. The message of linking these two days is clear: Israelis owe their independence—the very existence of the state—to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it. This day of solemnity will transition to one of celebration and pride as we celebrate Yom Ha’atzamut, Israel’s Independence Day. The moment of transition is one of hope and strength, as we celebrate the strength and future of the Jewish people. Watch and learn more:  


  1. The transition from Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha’atzmaut in Israel is a powerful moment. Within seconds the country goes from mourning to celebration! Recreate that moment by beginning the program with a discussion around themes related to Yom HaZikaron and then transition with a moment of silence to a festive celebration. 
  2. Add pictures, videos, and/or a personal message from your chapter as we create a birthday card for Israel with messages from around the Movement.
  3. Once a year, just before Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, the State of Israel hosts a poster design competition to celebrate. This year’s The Heritage of Innovation 70 Years to the State of Israel will be revealed on Yom Ha’atzmaut. Use the BBYO Chapter Initiative, Israel in 2048, to create your own posters. Imagine it’s the year 2048, 100 years after the establishment of Israel, and you’re creating this year’s poster. What would be on it? What will it look like? 
  4. This Speak UP for Israel in 2048 program explores quotes and texts as they connect to the Yom Ha’atzmaut posters. Go deeper and consider how your words can support Israel.  
  5. Tel Aviv Night! Create a festive atmosphere with music, food, and Israel/Tel Aviv themed activities to celebrate the Jewish State of Israel. Tell everyone to come decked out in blue and white.
  6. Elevate your program. Got an innovative idea? Want to do more, go bigger, and offer a new experience? Apply for a Gamechanger Grant.   
  7. Create Israel themed competitions. Best blue and white dress, Top Chef-Israel food style, Israeli dance, Maccabiah, or Israeli Shira sing-off. 
  8. Connect to BBYO’s Speak UP for Israel: A Campaign for International Israel Advocacy and Education
  9. Travel to Israel with BBYO! Dedicate a night learning about all the ways to travel to Israel with BBYO
  10. Create an Israel Exhibition. ISRAEL21c has created an online exhibition exploring the humanitarian aid Israel is providing all over the world. Each of the 15 slides tell a story of Israeli aid in the wake of international disasters. Once a month, highlight one story.  
  11. Send a thank you to Israeli disaster volunteers. Israel21c Digital Ambassadors launched a website where you can send thank you letters to Israeli humanitarian volunteers helping across the globe.
  12. Learn Hatikvah and watch this video celebrating Israel from IC 2018 (skip to 01:25:27 to watch).  
  13. Know Your Facts: Think you know everything there is to know about Israel? Learn 70 facts here!  
  14. Check out 70 individuals who have contributed to Israel’s growth and diversity in a number of fields including politics, literature, music, law and region. Highlight one or two at every chapter meeting.
  15. Be inspired and be amazed-join us on an incredible visual journey through 70 years of Israeli history in 165 seconds. #70yearsStrong
  16. Take a quiz or create your own. How well do you really know Israel? 
  17. Welcome members into chapter events with Israeli music playing. Add your favorites to BBYO’s Israeli playlist.  
  18. Connect innovation themed events to this innovation timeline. #70yearsofInnovation
  19. Create a chapter 'Tasty style' video with your chapter’s favorite Israeli food. For inspiration check out these videos: Hummus, Israeli Salad, Shashouka, Falafel. (For tips on how to create a tasty style video click here.) 
  20. Invite a Maccabiah speaker to your sporting event
  21. Learn how Michal Barkai-Bordy channeled her frustration about inequality for women in the army to create change in this JDOV talk.  
  22. 121 Years of Zionism: In August 1897, Theodor Herzl convened the first Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland. Learn more about the history of Zionism here.
  23. Think Green. Think Blue. Learn about the global impact that Israeli environmental initiatives are having here
  24. Israel at 70 in 16 different languages: Israel at 70, written by AJC CEO David Harris, celebrates the rebirth of the State of Israel. Translated into 16 languages, each translation of Israel at 70 is available here
  25. Go global and see where Israel has sent humanitarian aid across this map.  
  26. Peer-to-Peer: Invite a BBYO ILSI alumnus, a StandWithUs Teen Fellow, an AIPAC High School Summit or Policy Conference alumnus, an Israeli teen, or  a teen who has a strong connection to Israel to speak. 
  27. Check out these white board style videos about various topics like disabilities, employment, big data and more through the lens of Israel.